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Review: Sanyo Taho

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If you want to send messages from the Taho, you're going to have to work for it. The text messaging app is basic and straight forward. There are 20 pre-loaded messages, as well as an easy way to insert "web shortcuts", which are standard Internet phrases such as "http://", "www", or ".com". You can also control the behavior of the predictive text software and add custom words to the phone's dictionary. What I don't like is that you can't insert media into a text message. If you want to compose a "picture mail", as Sprint calls it, you have to choose that option first. At least messages are threaded.

Want more than SMS? Well, then you've got some extra work to do. There are no email nor IM clients pre-loaded on the Taho. Instead, you have to download them from Sprint's content store. The apps themselves are (thankfully) free, and if you have a data plan, it doesn't cost anything additional to use them.

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Once you download the email app, you see that it is pre-loaded with a number of webmail clients: AOL Mail, AIM Mail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, Work, PCS Mail, and the ability to configure your own IMAP or POP3 accounts. Setup is a snap. Once you're signed in, you have access to a mobile version of your email, complete with options that let you call the sender (if a number is embedded in the email), see your full email contacts list and manage folders. Every so often I found the email system wanted me to sign back in, but most of the time it remembered my credentials. Notifications, on the other hand, were few and far between. You can't rely on the Taho to let you know when there's new email that needs attention, you have to seek it out yourself.

On the IM side of the table, you have AIM, Windows Live and Yahoo clients bundled into the one app that's available in the Sprint content store. The IM client is identical to that of other Sprint feature phones. Seeing your online buddies and sending them messages is no more difficult than on any other phone.

Where's the social networking integration? Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are conspicuously absent, as is any sort of catch-all social networking app.

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